tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 1, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
even more medicare dollars without any accountability. this, my friends, is frightening, it's irresponsible, but there's more. it's inconceivable or it is conceivable, pardon me, it is conceivable that the independent payment advisory board won't just limit medicare access. it will also propose ways for the federal government to limit what americans of all ages are allowed to spend out of their own private money, not taxpayer funds to save the lives and the health -- the health care of their families. shocking but true. obamacare tells bureaucrats on the boards to make sure we aren't even allowed to keep up with medical inflation. further, it is conceivable that the board will suggest ways for the federal government to impose so-called quality and efficiency standards on doctors and hospitals with the purpose of limiting the health care that we can get.
so here's the deal. if a doctor dares to give her patient treatment beyond what those standards allow, that doctor will be punished. that doctor will be excluded from all of the health insurance plans qualified under obamacare. unbelievable. under obamacare, washington bureaucrats can dictate one uniform standard of health care that is designed to limit what private citizens are allowed to spend out of their own money to save their own lives, but the independent payment advisory board isn't the only rationing provision in obamacare or the affordable health care act. if only. however, obamacare also has a cadillac tax for having too much health care coverage. patients all across america need to know that there is a provision of obamacare that punishes them and their employer
if they provide coverage that is above the arbitrary limits imposed by the federal government. this is an additional 40% tax on individuals who need more expensive treatments and coverage, oftentimes essential to battle life-threatening access. and even worse, those -- these obamacare limits were drafted in a way, they will never be able to keep up with medical inflation. this means insurance companies will have to cut back even more on patient treatments or services or people will be forced to pay an incredibly higher tax. what about those individuals who are already suffering from life-threatening illnesses, who really need the care? this is why we should pass the legislation i am offering. and do americans know that there is a provision in obamacare that lets the federal government, not them and not their employer,
decide if coverage is -- quote -- excessive or unjustified? this isn't government subsidized coverage in the exchanges, nor is it the federally funded medicare and medicaid coverage. this is their and their employees' private money, their money, and the federal government is given the authority to decide if the way it is being spent is excessive or unjustified. now, they're going to do it through the provision of obamacare that allows the obama administration to review premiums by pressuring private insurance companies to stop offering coverage or face adverse government consequences. now, so far we have talked about the private coverage, but there are also similar provisions for seniors' coverage. it wasn't bad enough that the president diverted half a trillion dollars from medicare to pay for obamacare to begin with. he also granted the department
of health and human services the authority to deny private market-driven coverage from offering services and treatments that could save their lives. before obamacare, these private market programs such as the prescription drug program and medicare advantage could allow seniors to allow their own money to purchase coverage they want and need beyond just what the government will pay. obamacare allows washington bureaucrats to deny that choice. folks, this isn't just how we should be treating our seniors. it isn't how we should be treating people in this country who need access to life-saving treatments and services. this isn't how we should be treating anybody. that is why today i come to the floor to introduce the repeal rationing and support of life act of 2014. my legislation repeals these provisions that allow the federal government to intercede
on very personal decisions. excuse me, madam president. my legislation repeals these provisions that allow the federal government to intercede on very personal decisions. it repeals the provisions that authorize rationing boards to deny patients the ability to access the care that may save their lives. this legislation is relatively simple and should be supported by all of my colleagues to address some of the egregious changes from the affordable health care act that patients should be aware of but many don't even know that they exist. this is down the road. we're trying to stay ahead of the curve. that is why i'm introducing this legislation. this legislation builds upon my restoring access to medication
act. this bill repeals the provision of obamacare limiting a patient's right to purchase over-the-counter products with their own money. it is also a continuation of my efforts that i discussed when introducing the for rationers repeal act many times on this floor. it repeals the independent payment advisory board. it repeals the innovation center. it repeals the changes made to the preventative services task force. and it makes sure any comparative effectiveness research, comparative effectiveness research is used by the doctor and the patient, not coverage providers or c.m.s. to determine the best care for patients and simply try to lower costs. i really believe that in order to protect this all-important doctor-patient relationship, we need to repeal and most importantly to replace obamacare with the real reforms that work
for kansans and all americans. however, until we can accomplish full repeal, we at least need to ensure we are protecting the life-saving care and treatment that americans need by attacking the elements of obamacare that ration care and passing the repeal rationing support of life act of 2014. i urge my colleagues to support this proposal and take the steps necessary to protect the lives of their constituents. madam president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. casey: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. casey: thank you very much. i was rising today to speak about an issue which should be under the category of "unfinished business" and a priority for the american people, and that's unemployment insurance. in this case, emergency
unemployment compensation. and the trauma that so many people have lived through, not just over weeks -- or it's now months. and of course that was preceded by a very difficult economy. the bill that is in front of us now is bipartisan, and that's good news. that's the way it should be. it's a bipartisan bill to provide what can only be described as an essential lifeline for individuals who have been out of work, millions of people out of work in the so-called long-term unemployment category. this lifeline is often directly connected to the life and the daily struggles of middle-class families who rely upon this program to stay afloat, as they're seeking work. i think sometimes there's a misconception -- or some might
want to make this argument in a deliberate way, but i think it's often a misconception that somehow emergency unemployment compensation is for people that are out of work but not looking for work. these are folks that are looking day after day, week after week. now, i would have preferred that this agreement would be a longer-term agreement than just the five months that are being -- the five months being proposed in the agreement. but it's very important that we finally reach a point where we can pass a measure that will provide protection for folks and support for them as they're hooking for work. -- as they're looking for work. thursday we had a procedural vote, which as i mention was bipartisan, to move the bill forward. and thankfully the senate this week will be voting on the bill itself. we hope that the house would
follow suit and provide this kind of much-needed boost for those who are out of work. the numbers are just staggering when you look at the numbers, for example, in pennsylvania. in pennsylvania almost 75,000 people immediately stopped receiving unemployment benefits when the emergency unemployment compensation expired on december 28. i can't even imagine what that was like for an individual or for an individual and his or her family, three days after christmas, right in the middle of the holiday season, for so many families, it is supposed to be a time of joy, a time when families are together and spending lots of time together in ways they can't often do during the year, to have that run out on december 28 had to be
horrific for those individuals. the other number, in addition to the 75,000 that i mention for pennsylvania, that as of march 15 -- so between december 28 and march 15, over 110,000 pennsylvanians have lost their benefits. through may -- and that's the period covered by the bill -- the bill would go to june 1 and be retroactive to december 28. but through may, it's estimated that 158,400 pennsylvaniaian ped almost 2.8 million americans who have lost their emergency unemployment compensation. and so they're the folks that have been hurting and will be hurting unless we take action, and of course they're the ones that would benefit if we can take action.
unemployment insurance doesn't just provide an economic relief to that individual and his or her family. it's also an economic jump-start. for example, in 2012, mark zandi, a respected economist -- he has roots in pennsylvania, i'll say that for the record, but he is respected across the board. mark zandi found that for ever czadollar of emergency compensation, there is $2 return. in terms of emergency unemployment insurance, you get $1 .52 in return. that's a pretty good return, whep it is helping people so substantially. so this is really about providing that lifeline for those families at a time when they really need it, but it is also about the economic benefits
for the rest of us. a lot of people have heard these numbers as well. analyses that specifically focus on the extension of benefits in 2014. they've also shown by using other data to indicate the impact on the economy. the economic policy institute has estimated that extending unemployment benefits in 2014 would generate $37.8 billion in economic activity. so that's the -- that's the impact for this year, as found by the economic policy institute. $37.8 billion. so this is about all of us. this isn't about a group of people over here that we hope to help. that's wonderful. it is a wonderful sentiment. but this is about whether or not they're going to have -- they're going to have an opportunity,
just a fair shot to have a chance to get back into the economy, to get back into work. but it's also about the rest of us in another way as well. it's about whether or not we're going to make sure that everyone has an opportunity for that fair shot. and of course it is also about the rest of us because we benefit when this program continues, the economic boost, the $1.52 for the buck that you spend on it, as well as the $37.8 billion of activity. and final i will lely, let me j- we hear about the numbers and we hear about the rationale for continuing this program, both of which are very compelling, and i would argue not just compelling but urgent. but what about the real people? i've had two people in my hometown -- one i had met before and a second person that i had not met before.
but just to give an example of two individuals and their lives, and this is where i live, scranton, pennsylvania, which has a very high unemployment rate, unfortunately. the first i'll mention is joe walsh. joe has lived in my hometown with -- for all of his life. he was a tradesman for 40 years, so he had a very specific skill that allowed him to work and support his family. he worked as as superintendent for 14 years and in 2008 the company he worked for needed to downsize, and he lost his position and immediately went on unemployment insurance. he worked on and off over the years with contractors who would need temporary workers, but he was unable to find anything steady. a story that we have heard too often. on december 28 of 2013 -- that day that i mentioned before -- joe exceeded his unemployment insurance benefits and hasn't received any support since then,
but he continues to look for work and to file his claims. joe is married, has three grown children. he said he feels -- quote -- "lucky" -- unquote -- because his wife workers and she's able to keep their household afloat. joe is 63 years old and had all of those year, those decades with a skill and work ethic that allowed him to work. if he had a mortgage, he wouldn't have been able to -- if he had a mortgage now, he wouldn't be able to survive. he finds it difficult to find the kind of work he had before, tradesman work, work that requires a skill. the second person that was -- that we had a press conference with, some someone that i met in our neighborhood and we go to the same church, vera.
she has spoken to me before about his own circumstances. she started over -- over the years she was with several banking institutions. she was employed steadily from february of 1995 until july of 2013. so all those years doing good work for two different banking institutions. she has a bachelor's of science degree, a college degree, and has an associates degree from luzern community college. she has the education that you often need and she had that you will experience, almost 20 years of experience. now she's left with volunteering and looking for work. she goes to -- she has attended all of the pennsylvania career link at lackawanna county wor
workshops, searching for work over and over and over again. so these are the people -- and not just tenses o just tens of t tens of thousands, but literally millions. it is time we did the job we're reelected to do, to put this emergency unemployment compensation program back into place to give people just a fair shot, nothing else. that's all they're asking for is a fair shot to find work to support their families and to be part of the economy and part of this country in the world of work that they were so much a part of for most of their lives. so, madam president, i would seek that all of us come together in a bipartisan farks get thi -- in a bipartisan fash, get this passed, and get it to the house, and i hope our house colleagues are logjamming, listening not -- will listening, listening not just to my voice but to the voices of the people
they represent, to the veras of the world and the joes of the world that i just spoke of. with that, i would read the following: madam president, i have seven unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to, and that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. casey: i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that today at 2:15, the senate pedestrian to executive session to consider calendars number 582 and 683, that there be 15 minutes for debate equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. upon the use or yielding back of that time, the senate proceed to vote with no intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed. that two minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form. that all after the first vote be 10 minutes in length. the motion toss reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate.jjy we hope to also reach agreement on that nomination. mr. reid: so i have nothing further.
the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate previous order, the senate >> well the u.s. senate has recessed so members can attend their weekly party lunch meetings. they will return at 2:15 and continue debating a bill extending long-term unemployment benefits for another five months. we'll have live coverage when senators return right here on c-span2. house budget committee chair paul ryan released an updated budget plan that would cut $5 trillion in federal spending over the coming decade. the proposal would balance government books by cutting food stamps, health care for the poor and working class and pell grants for low income college students and pensions for federal workers. you can read the entire plan online at c-span.org. here is what the top democrat on the house budget committee, maryland congressman chris van hollen had to say about the ryan budget plan. this reckless republican budget cast as dark shadow over the
american dream. it is a direct attack on job creation and a recipe for our nation es economic decline, quote, quote. a house subcommittee is set to hear what the new ceo of general motors and the nation's top auto safety watchdog have to say about a defect in the automakers small cars that are linked to 13 deaths. we talked to a reporter about what to expect during this afternoon's hearing. >> host: thanks for joining us. >> guest: good morning. >> host: tell us a lit bit about the hearing today and the rest of the week. what are the topic that is are going to be covered? >> guest: what happens today a subcommittee on the energy and commerce committee on the house side. tomorrow is a senate consumer committee that holds its hearing. they will both have the same two witnesses. the ceo of general motors, mary barra, the acting head of the highway safety administration. and one thing that will be
interesting, mary barra, already made clear she will not provide any answers what went wrong. she has internal investigation. shs e vowed to be transparent. the company knows thee screwed up and they're trying to figure out what went wrong but there are questions about the communications between the car-maker and the regulator and the safety administration and so i guess what we're looking for is, you know, how much of the focus is on the automaker and how much is on the regulator and how much do they point to each other as they try to explain why we are where we are right now with all these recalls. >> host: her being relatively brand new to the position of ceo. >> guest: exactly. what is interesting, what i remember in january she sat in the first lady's box during the state of the union address. this was a big moment. here is the first lady president of a auto company. the president hasser in the speech. applause. she is really celebrated.
that was just a few days into her taking over the company. she has worked there basically since she was 18. you know, she is a lifer, they say. so celebrated when she came in january and obviously very different circumstances when she is here this week. >> host: holly yeager is there a sense of tone of these questions presented to her? any sense how the members of congress going to treat her? >> guest: it is an interesting question. there are some big michigan members, especially on the energy and commerce committee. you talked a lot about john dingell. he is retiring after six decades int congress. sometimes people call him, you know, the member of congress for general motors. he is a huge booster of the company. he used to run this committee. the current chairman is also from t michigan. he is fred upton and, i mean one thing i think is interesting. gm has done this great job, we think of them as a michigan company but they have facilities
in 28 states and 75 congressional districts. so they're really a national company with a heavy michigan presence. there is no gm facility in fred upton's district and hese triedo be very clear that he can be, you know, cars are important for michigan but auto safety is important for everyone is what he said to us this week. so he's vowed to be tough. i think there is this question of, who, again, who screwed up and there will be some questions, fred upton was key in writing a law after another auto problem about 14 years ago. that tried to boost communication between carmakers and the safety administration. so he is keen to see if his law basically was followed or not. there are others who think the automaker has been slow in informing the regulator and the public. so they will press the car company harder. some will press the regulator harder. why didn't you notice, why
didn't you get involved? didn't you get enough information. >> host: holly yeager, talk a little bit about the fact that the federal government assisted gm especially during the financial meltdown of the united states, how much does that overshadow these hearings this week? >> guest: people keep saying they don't think it will but we do, it wasn't that long ago people were calling it government motors. joe biden said famously, osama bin laden is dead and gm is alive. it became a real issue in the 2012 campaign. republicans didn't like the bailout. there is some sense, i mean one slightly technical question that will, could come up at the hearings is whether, is whether gm was a little tricky when they agreed to the bailout. they basically waived, they're off the hook on any accidents that happened before a certain period. and of coursene if they knew thn that there were trouble with these, there was trouble with
these cars, and even, even knowing that, and didn't share thatth information, and made themselves sign a document that said they wouldn't be responsible for any of these accidents, that would be a whole another level of complication to the current situation. i mean one more thing i will just say. we remember, i think, today's hearing will be very different. there's this image that a lot of people have of the big three automakers coming to washington in 2008 when they were all looking for billions of dollars in government loans and, a bit of a scandal when we found out that they had all flown on private, private jets. theyer said it was company poliy and they always flew on private jets but it was kind ever outrage just, here they are asking for governmentas money ad taking private planes. gm learned that lesson many times over. she won't be flying in a private on a commercial private we're assured. >> host: holly yeager, "washington post" staff writer talking about this week's two hearings by members of the house
and senate, looking at gm, its practices, the ceo of gm to appear at those hearings. holly yeager. thanks for your time this morning. >> guest: thank you. >> you can see live coverage this afternoon as national highway traffic safety at administration chief david friedman and the ceo of gm, mary berra, testify. that starts at 2:00 eastern on capitol hill on j pan 3. -- c-span3. >> we have to remember two things i think. first we're there because we were attacked and new york city and 3 how americans were murdered. that is why we went to afghanistan, to get those people who were killing us. and second, president obama has said there is a limit to this, within two years we're not doing it anymore. so i agree with you, julie, at some point you have to let them do it. but in our, in our first goal, if we get away from the afghans, et cetera and look what our first goal was, if i had told
you or any of the listeners in 2001 that we would not be attacked again in the united states of america for the next decade, none of us would have believed that because at that point al qaeda had more of the advantage. now we really have al qaeda and terrorists definitely on the defensive. and so we can, we can at this point get out most of our forces from afghanistan. so i agree with you, but we've been successful in what we really wanted to do as a country and that is to protect ourselves. >> vietnam vet, assistant defense secretary during the reagan administration, analyst and author, bing west, will take your questions, in depth, live for three hours, sunday on c-span2's booktv. >> a house appropriations subcommittee recently looked at the fbi and some of the challenges the agency faces in a post-9/11 world. members of an independent commission reviewing the fbi
testified before the committee pointing to syria-based terrorism and cyber attacks as areas of concern. is about an hour. >> i woe like to welcome the distinguished bipartisan panel that is conducting the review of the fbi's progress in addressing recommendations of the 9/11 commission. the former attorney general he had win meese iii, chief of staff in the reagan administration and former attorney general. congressman and former 9/11 commissioner, congressman romer. and professor bruce hoffman, director of center for security studies at georgetown university. and widely recognized expert on terrorism. legislation to create this commission was first proposed in 2011 at the time of the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and was signed into law last year as part of the fy 2013
omnibus. it will conduct a independent external review of the fbi i implementation of the recommendations from the 9/11 commission and consider how the bureau is addressing the evolving threat of terrorists today. i believe this review is necessary and timely, especially as we mark a decade since the release of the 9/11 commission recommendation this is year. it is important that we continue to keep our eye on the evolving terrorist threat, especially given trend in domestic radicalization and growth of al qaeda's affiliates in the middle east and north africa. i believe this commission will be also a great asset as director comey acknowledged or director comey as he starts his term as the fbi director. the men and women of the fbi have done an outstanding job preventing terrorist attacks over the last 13 years. and the committee and the american people are grateful to them and i believe this review will assure we're able to focus resources to continue to help them do this important work. i recognize that the panel is
just beginning its efforts so i expect this session to be one of laying out a road map rather than a presentation of findings. we look forward to hearing your plans after you have given your statement. we will take members first, but first i would like to recognize mr. fatah for my comments. >> i want to thank you the chairman for holding this hearing. because i think it's appropriate for us to take a minute and to pause and to hear from you about where we are in this process. so often times we're just focused on the, you know the numbers and but this is a, i think the commission did such a extraordinary public service that the least we can do is to follow-up and make sure that the recommendations are appropriately being acted on. so welcome, and we look forward to your testimony. >> thank you. proceed as you appropriate. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first of all we have a joint
statement, formal statement which has been provided i believe to the committee. >> yes, sir. will be recognized. >> thank you. secondly we each have a brief summary of that statement which we have agreeable with the committee we'll give and be open to your questions. >> that's fine. >> we appreciate this opportunity to appear there with my fellow commissioners, ambassador tim romer, professor bruce hoffman, to inform you our progress and plans to carry out the commission's work as you have given it to us and to speak about the specifically the response to the 9/11 commission, what they have done and then other things that related to that. i think we as you have mentioned earlier have a very high regard for the fbi. in my own case i have worked with them on a number of things over a period of 50 years. but like any law enforcement or intelligence agency the fbi, while it labors every day to counter or mitigate a
complicated array of threats, this is a dangerous world. at the same time as director comey mentioned this morning it is in fact a work in progress and a great deal is happening in terms of the transformation from an investigative into an intelligence-led agency and that is one of the principle areas which we also will be conducting our work. as you know the, this subcommittee was instrumental in establishing this commission on the review of the fbi in relation to counter terrorism with four specific missions as stated. the objectives are first an assessment of the progress made and the challenges mr. fattah implementing the recommendation ever the 9/11 commission that are related to the fbi. .
>> the congressional guidance that constitutes a broad mandate to provide a balanced assessment of the fbi's progress in its transformation in implementing the 9/11 commission recommendations, but unlike the 9/11 commission's mandate which was much broader, ours is not a charge to investigate catastrophic terrorist attacks or major intelligence failures. our work will involve an intensive examination of the bureau's structure, organization, programs and policies related to counterterrorism, intelligence
and cybersecurity since 9/11. we will render findings that commend what is working and point out where improvement is indicated. we will make every record -- every effort to recommend practical steps to improve performance. we're in the process of building a competent staff. while relatively few in number, will be particularly rich in counterterrorism and intelligence experience including people who have worked with the 9/11 commission. we're developing a baseline of findings and recommendations from a number of multiple investigations, studies, assessments and reports on the fbi's progress, some of them having been referred to earlier this morning like the webster commission and other groups like that. so we don't want to reinvent the wheel, we want to build be on what has already been done. we will assess the performance of the new programs since 9/11 including those related to home-grown violent terrorism,
online radicalization and the need to counter violent extremism. we will also be going to fbi training facilities to visit selective joint terrorism task forces around the country of various sizes, because there's considerable difference in terms of the programs and the availability of resources at the large, middle and small counterterrorism locations. we specifically will be working through an intensive study of several terrorism cases, again, some of which were referred to earlier in your questions today as giving us an opportunity to look at where the fbi was, what happened in those cases, what was successful, what what was nt successful and where improvement is needed. we will also take a particular look at how closely and effectively the fbi is collaborating with other intelligence agencies and with
strategic partners at the state and local levels and abroad. we will study the procedures in place to facilitate information showering both within the -- showering both within the united states -- sharing both within the united states and with international resources. and we feel this topic of information sharing will be a consistent theme as we process these case studies that i mentioned. i think, mr. chairman, that's my summary. i will turn to my colleagues and ambassador romer, okay? good. >> thank you, chairman wolf, ranking member fatah, colbertson and schiff for the opportunity to appear with my fellow commissioners, ambassador tim romer, former attorney general ed meese. it is a pleasure to serve with them and an honor to work with the, the -- the fb be i. as you know, i have dedicated my
academic career which now spans nearly 40 years to the study of terrorism and more recently to the dynamics of radicalization, foreign and domestic, that can lead to violent extremism. this is a high priority national security issue that i know is of interest to you as it is to the fbi. the fbi, indeed, is working hard today on programs related to home-grown violent extremism, online radicalization and countering violent extremism. let me share with you briefly some observations from my own academic study of radicalization. the variety of terrorists who have surfaced over the years evidences that there is no one path to radicalization. the reason why someone picks up a gun or blows themselves up are not personal. born variously of grievance and frustration, religious piety or the desire for systemic socioeconomic change, conviction or commitment to revolution. and yet though there is no universal terrorist personality,
nor has a single broadly-applicable profile ever been produced, there are things that we do know. terrorists are generally motivated by a profound sense of, albeit misguided, altruism. deep feelings of self-defense, and if they are religiously observant or devout, an abiding, even unswerving commitment to their faith and the conviction that their violence is not only theologically justified, but definely commanded. divinely commanded. theological arguments in this context are invoked both by the organizations responsible for the attacks and by the communities from which these terrorists are recruited. in the case of muslims, although the quran forbids both suicide and the infliction of wanton violence, pronouncements have been made by radical muslim clerics and in some instances promulgated as fatwas, religious edicts, affirming the legitimacy of violence and to resist the invasion of muslim lands. radical islamist terrorist
movements have thus created a recruitment and support mechanism of incentives that sustain their violence campaigns and seeks vengeance despite america's withdrawal from iraq and impending departure from afghanistan. individuals will always be attracted to violence in different ways. just look at the people who have gravitated towards terrorism in the united states in recent years. we have seen terrorists from south asia and north as well as east camp descent, as well as those hailing from the middle east and the caribbean. we have seen devout muslims as well as recent converts including one philadelphia suburban housewife who touted her petite stature and blond hair and blue eyes as being so atypical of the stereotypical terrorists so as to defy efforts at profiling. she sought to use her self-described ability to avoid detection to assassinate a swedish around who drew an ons toive of cartoon of -- offensive
cartoon of the prophet, mohamed. these people come from every walks of life, some with long criminal records or histories of juvenile delinquency, to persons from solidly middle and upper class backgrounds with university and perhaps even graduate degrees and prior passions for cars, sports, rock music and other completely secular and material interests. relationships formed at work, at school, on sports teams and other recreational and religious activities as well as over the internet can prey upon the already susceptible. in some instances, first generation sons and daughters of immigrants embrace an interpretation of their heritage that is more political, more extreme and more austere and, therefore, demands greater personal sacrifices than that practiced by their parents. indeed, the common element in the radicalization process reflects these individuals' deep commitment to their faith, often newly rediscovered, their
admiration of terrorist movements or leading terrorist figures who they see as having struck a ca that can tick blow for their creed's enemies wherever they are and whomever they might be, hatred of their adopted homes -- especially within the united states and the west -- and a profoundly shared sense of alienation there their host countries. at the start of the war on terrorism a dozen years ago, the enemy was clear and plainly in sight. it was a large terrorist organization -- [inaudible] and it was led by an identifiable leader. today when the borders between domestic and international terrorism have blurred, when our -- [audio difficulty] enigmatic individuals, a complete rethinking of our counterterrorism policies and architecture is needed. we built an effective defense against the previous threat. our challenge today is to develop new defenses against this new, more amorphous,
diffuse and individualized threat while at the same time to continue to destroy and upend al-qaeda, its affiliates and associates and most especially the ideology that sustains them. thank you, members of the subcommittee. i'd be happy to answer any questions you might have on radicalization or on subjects related to terrorism and the commission's mandate following ambassador romer's presentation. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i'd just like to begin by saluting and thanking my colleagues here. you can see why it's an honor to meet with and work with general meese and dr. of match. i'm -- dr. hoffman. i'm learning from them every day, and we've got great chemistry. i think, hopefully, we'll produce a product you're proud of. i'm delighted to be back up in congress, mr. chairman, ranking member fatah and mr. colbertson and mr. schiff, all friends of mine from before. it's great to see you doing your
oversight work up here and, hopefully, we'll be the recipient of friendly questions today. [laughter] we look forward to issuing a report when we're finished with this. i would want to start, mr. chairman, by following mr. schiff and saluting you. i know that you have made a decision to retire from politics, something i voluntarily did a few years ago. you have made a significant difference not just in fairfax county and in the united states, but around the globe in carving out hard work and effective efforts on trafficking issues, religious freedom and human rights, and i think your constituents and the country are proud of those earths, so we all -- of those efforts, so we all thank you for that hard work. i would ask, mr. chairman, that my formal statement be entered into the record, and i will just make some inform formal statements -- informal statements and comments.
first of all, about my colleagues, comments, and then maybe a comment or two about mr. comey's very good presentation and then talk for a minute or two with about what makes commissions successful of. successful. as you've seen from the front page of "the new york times" this morning, our intelligence community is talking about their concern that the, treatmentists are carving out new territory in syria and potentially learning skills and trade craft and training there and coming back to the united states. this is oxygen for al-qaeda. safe havens and possession of and access to territory and safe havens make them more effective and dangerous and deadly in the future. and as mr. comey said, i think this is an area where this commission can work with him as the new director of the fbi and look at what this threat might be for the world and for the united states and make
recommendations accordingly. second, in our testimony, mr. chairman, as you read through it carefully, we talk about three revolutions that have taken place over a series of the last several decades, one of them a technological revolution. while cell phones, mr. colbert soften, are opening up liberty and freedom and economic opportunity and elevating many people out of, you know, out of poverty in developing countries, we also see what they're doing to potentially radicalize on internet through chat rooms and inspire magazines, what they can do to shorten the fuse of radicalization for would-be with be terrorists -- would-be terrorists. that's a challenge for the fbi. is the fbi hiring the right people, are they fast and innovative enough to keep pace and counter this threat around the world? are they going to be able to compete with this flat, dynamic and decentralized network of
al-qaeda? and that's something that i think our commission will be looking at and making recommendations on. mr. chairman, you've, in your career you've probably created many commissions. i've served on four commissions since i've left congress. i highly recommend them for you that do leave congress at some point. identify served on the -- i've served on the 9/11 commission, i've served on a commission on radical sawtion, i've served on a commission on the national parks and now the fbi. these commissions are created for many, many different reasons. as mr. fatah knows, there are commissions created for civil rights, higher education, assassinations, tragedies like the 9/11 attacks, some created by the executive branch, some by congress. some much more effective than others in terms of their outcome and in getting the recommendations through congress. a few things that probably made the 9/11 commission particularly
effective, one was the unity of purpose and unity of effort that we worked on together. we saw 2,977 human beings killed if many a matter of hours -- in a matter of hours, and that motivation, that attack by al-qaeda, that devastation and death really motivated the ten members of the commission every day to work toward bipartisan solutions. secondly, the american people were intimately involved in the public hearings, or in tasking us and encouraging us the get to the bottom of things, to try to find out factually what went wrong to try to come up with specific recommendations to reorganize our government and reform things so we wouldn't make the same mistakes again, that we would better share intelligence across agencies, that we would fund new
technology efforts like cybersecurity. thirdly, i can't give enough credit to the 9/11 families who participated in the birth of the 9/11 commission and how it got through congress. it was a bill that john mccain and i worked on in the senate and the house. we never would have gotten it through congress if it hadn't been for the tenacity and the loyalty and the hard work and the love of those 9/11 families for their lost ones; children, family members. they worked tirelessly to try to make sure that something was done constructively about their losses. another reason that the 9/11 commission and other commissions succeed is about the clarity of the mission, the statutory mandate, so to speak. i think this committee, the staff has given us a very clear mandate. it's broad, it's aggressive, but i think it's clear to us what we need to do over the next several months and, hopefully, with your help and the fbi's cooperation, we're going to be able to get to the bottom of the facts and give you and the american people a
good report. another important issue is leadership. leadership both on the commission, we had leadership from tom cain, a republican, and lee hamilton, a democrat, where there was no democrat or republican pride if authorship -- in authorship. they appeared together every time they did any kind of press so that they would be on message together, and that was a message to the five democrats and five republicans that politics should be put aside and facts and recommendations and success should be our ultimate mission and goal. another area of huge cooperation for getting to your end mission is the cooperation of the agencies involved. the 9/11 commission ultimately we had pretty good cooperation
across the agencies to get access to documents and to get their support for briefings and follow up, and that helped us within timelines to succeed at the end of the day. and finally, we had a talented staff, expert in a host of different areas that helped us on the 9/11 commission. john gannon, we've haired -- hired as our executive director who has 30 years of experience in the intel community. we're in the prosecution of trying to hire -- process of trying to hire more staff, and that will be a key issue, i think, in terms of our long-term success. so with that, mr. chairman, i remember the lesson of my fifth grade catholic schoolteacher. she taught us that we have two ears and one mouth, we should use the two ears more than we use the one mouth just numerically, there's a lot more for us to learn in class than to speak this class, and as ed and bruce and i came up here, we want to get your collective
wisdom as to what your concerns are about the fbi, where you'd like us to go within the mandate specifically, and we're honored and privileged to work with you in this effort to make america safer. so with that, i yield back the balance of my time, mr. chairman, and look forward to your questions. >> well, thank you very much. i appreciate the testimony. and i supported the 9/11 commission. there were a number of people from my district who died in the attack on the pentagon, and i think that the fact that the three of you, again bipartisan, is really important. and so, one, the committee, subcommittee will do whatever you ask us to. and i was appreciative of director comey both yesterday in a conversation i had with him and again today on the record. i think he is really open and enthusiastic about doing this, and i think that is very important. i don't have a lot of questions because i know you're in an
early, early stage. can you just tell us, i mean, where is the staff, or how far along are you in getting kind of set up? >> of course, the most important part initially was getting john gannon to be our executive director, and that has been a major step. he's working very hard with the fbi. there are a number of bureaucratic and, you might say, procedural steps in hiring federal employees, and so we have had some, there's -- let's say, inhibition perhaps in getting these staff members rapidly on board, and that's one thing we're working on very quickly here, to get that accomplished. and i think we trust that's being remedied at the present time, but that's the only, how would i say, inhibition that we
have had so far. but other than that we've had some excellent briefings already from fbi staff. we've talked to people on the outside. and so i think we're moving along provided we can get over that particular hurdle. >> okay. mr. chairman, if you could just support my -- if i could just support my colleague in his answer. i think anytime you work with a big government organization, that cooperation is a work in progress. we hope to accelerate it, we hope to gain more flexibility in terms of our hiring procedures. we hope government across the board can be more flexible with this in the future, especially in the intel community. when you're fighting a foe like al-qaeda that can be flat and dynamic and entrepreneurial, we need to be quick in terms of how we are proactive many those efforts. so -- in those efforts. so we're hopeful. >> the 9/11 commission distinguished the recommendation between those that could be implemented through administrative action and those requiring statutory steps to
implement. will you be looking at both set of efforts? >> yes, we certainly will. and professor hoffman here is an expert and already has studied this as a part of his work at georgetown, and so we have a pretty good fix on what has happened already in some of the work, and we will be looking at both the administrative and the things that might require legislation. >> roughly, do you have any idea how many recommendations were made -- and it could be the fault to have congress too -- but how many recommendations were made by 9/11 in a percentage basis that were implemented and how many recommendations were made that were never implemented? >> ambassador roemer probably is the west source as to -- the best source as to how many were made. >> mr. chairman be, we take great pride in working with congress and the white house on precisely the answer to your question. i believe about 41 recommendations were made by the 9/11 commission, about 39 of
those recommendations were enacted into law. as john adams said, it's not just acting on legislation, it's executing and implementing them once they're passed. so there have been varying degrees of success on the implementation and execution both by congress and by the agencies. of course, mr. chairman, i'd be remiss if i didn't bring it up in my old body of congress one of the remaining recommendations has to do with congress. it was the reorganization of the jurisdiction for homeland security which is varied and spread out to about 100 different committees and subcommittees, and we recommend that be their rowed. -- narrowed. that still has not been acted on, and we hope at some point that can be. >> okay. bruce, you may want to add from your standpoint of studying these things for ten years. >> [inaudible] >> was appropriated by in the
fbi salaries and expenses for '13 and '14 to cover the cost. could you provide the committee with some estimates of your various costs to include staffing, travel and facility costs associated? i mean, is this enough? because i want to be -- if we're going to be marking on it relatively soon, we want to know if there's additional things that -- now that you're on, working on it that maybe we didn't think of that we should be doing. so you don't have to have an answer here, but if there's more, tell us within the next couple weeks so that we can make sure that we address them. >> we'll do that. >> mr. fatah? >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me welcome you again. i guess the only thing, because you're at the beginning, but the thing that interests me is the big decision. the big decision after 9/11 was, you know, because there was this tension about whether the, i kind of think about it like what
we're doing with nasa. we've got to commercialization process. you've got some people who want to defend the old nasa and others like myself who believe in the competition and different companies involved in space exploration. and the decision about whether or not we were going to have given 9/11 the old fbi, you know, chasing the bank robber or whether the fbi was going to have to transform itself and to be the pree moore agency -- premier agency focused on preventing terrorist attacks which wasn't about catching bad guys after they did things, but really about preventing, you know, tease types of -- these types of very severe attacks on americans, right? which is, would change the spire mindset of -- the entire mindset of how the fbi had been constructed as an institution. and so now as you heard from the director, you know, we still have some of this tension
between very important issues, you know? human trafficking, you know, white collar crime and so forth and so on. but at the front of the leaderboard for the agency in terms of what it's supposed to be doing is terrorism. right? and so you've got this so that in this big decision, it's still kind of in my mind still kind of hanging out there about whether or not, you know, you can serve as many masters or have as many priorities and be effective, right? so, you know, on the airplane side we said, look, we're going to create a whole new agency. tsa. they're only job is to make sure people don't get on planes and have an ability to take them over. right? i mean, that's really -- and no matter whatever the inconvenience to people, having to take their shoes off, their belts, they can't take a bolt
bottle of water, you know, whatever the process is, that's that. but in this bigger space the question of whether or not the first decision about whether or not the agency itself, the institution of the fbi needed to be full throttle with one priority or whether this multifocussed but terrorism at the front will work for the country. is a -- something i'd love to hear you comment on. >> i think maybe each of us might give our own views in what i would call summary fashion because, again, we're starting off. bruce, i why don't you start -- why don't you start. >> well, the most important criteria, i think, is has the fbi kept us safe in the united states in the dozen-plus years since 9/11? i think the proof is in the pudding. i don't think in, you know, the dark days following the september 11th, 2001, attacks
that anyone imagined we would go this long without a major -- >> well, you can take that logic and say prior to 9/11 be it had done the same, slight so the real question is, because there are many of my colleagues, the fort hood incident and others who point to -- my real question is just about whether or not, and and i understand there's no way to know which is the right way to go, but just this question about the agency itself since you're going to be looking at it and whether or not multiple priorities that span a range of items or just in this principal issue, whether that first decision was something that you should look at again. >> right. no, i understand. and you raise very good points. i mean, my response was only to say that i think that the fbi has changed enormously, and it has adopted much more intelligence-driven approach and that i think the problem is that
the types of threats that we face are constantly changing and evolving. so in the fbi that's very good at e preventing a very big terrorist attack from a 9/11 stature or from a terrorist organization, we can see how the threat now has devolved to a lone individual like nidal hasan, successful incident that, unfortunately, was not prevented, or the boston marathon bombing. you've got, you know, two idiot teenagers, to put it frankly, who were on their radar, at least the older brother was, but then for some reason fell from their radar. and i think that's, you know, one of the things we want to look at is both study the successes and the lessons learned from the successes but study the work in progress or some of the problems that have occurred and identify to them and help the fb be i to remedy them. i think i was involved in this debate a decade ago is whether we needed an american mi5 security service. i think we went in the right direction by preserving -- [inaudible]
i think one of the challenges is to make sure, i think we hard from director comey that the fbi is well positioned to take response to those trends, to take advantage of new technologies and new approaches to stay ahead of the bad guys. but i think one of the fbi's strengths has always been its investigative powers. they're now, i think, their intelligence capabilities are being built up. hopefully that, eventually, will be at the same level. >> this is the great big question that you ask, and we had weeks if not months of debate on this on the 9/11 commission. we had three choices; do you recommend that the tbi can -- fbi can fiddle around the edges and fix itself there the errors or mistakes or challenges pre-9/11 and post-9/11? that was one choice.
secondly, would we go outside the box and recommend the creation of an mi5 which would remove that capacity directly out of the fbi and put it someplace else? be thirdly, would we make a recommendation that was somewhere in the middle and recommend it to the fbi that they create a national security bureau with a path for analysts and intel-driven expectations within the bureau? we decided to go on the third option, and, mr. fatah, to your very good question, it is a work in progress. it's, the fbi has cultural baueriers, bureaucratic barriers, rule barriers that sometimes make this a difficult transition for them. at the same time, i think all of us have to get to the second part of your question, and that is as they're making this transformation to a intel-driven national security agency to protect the united states and
its people against terrorism, they have to be able to do other things. they must be automobile to go after -- they must be able to go after the counterintelligence cyber threats. they must be able to go after people who violate civil rights and civil liberties. that history for the united states of america is very important. and that mission is key. white collar crime, they have to be able to protect, help protect our cities. and so some of this is mutually beneficial, and some of it is going to be a big challenge for the fbi to get to. >> i think i agree it's an excellent question and one which we are considering as a commission, not that the decision has been made. and quite frankly, i personally agree with it and agreed with it at the time, but how that's implemented is going to be one of our major concerns and major areas of inquiry.
let me say, though, i think we recognize in terms of this that the fbi has the resources, they have the field operation structure, they have the long history of excellent investigation, the kinds of resources you really need for something like this. also they have an ongoing relationship with state and local law enforcement which is a valuable asset for them that no other agency could really approach. and this is already these joint terrorist task forces have shown that this provides the best way to bring together through the fbi the information that's so valuable from a lot of sources within the united states. but they also have the connections overseas. the legats are better than any other agency this the government of working with the police forces of the various states, nations around the country. there's another thing about the
fbi, and that is they've long existed and carried on their activities particularly in the last couple of decades with an appreciation and an allegiance to the constitutional rights of people. and this also, as you pursue these kinds of investigations, is an important aspect. and so it's basically their ability to transform the organization into an intelligence-led investigative agency which we will be looking at very closely. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. and i think a lot of credit goes to director mueller too. go ahead. >> absolutely. director mueller was terrific in this, and i just want to thank each one of you for serving in this important commission, thank you, chairman wolf, for putting this in the bill. and, general meese, what a privilege to have to you with us. and your time is as attorney general in the decades you've seen the fbi evolve, i wanted to
ask you to take a minute to, each one of you, talk a little bit about that critical, critical, critical change in the fundamental culture of the fbi from, obviously, they've got to continue as law enforcement officers be sure they're protecting the constitutional rights of those people they're investigating, but in this intelligence aspect, a change in culture that you just mentioned, general meese, i just wanted to explore that a little more. talk to us how from what you've seen so far in your initial inquiries the fbi has been able to adapt, integrate that intention-gattering capability -- intelligence-gathering capability with their traditional mission of strictly as a law enforcement entity looking to preserve evidence that would succeed in a prosecution in court. there are different missions. and how do you see them overlapping and adapting so far? >> well, i think each of us will
present our own views on it. if my own case, i -- in my own case, i think they've done, they've made a good start, let's say, in a transformation as you point out a very different culture from getting evidence that will be acceptable this court to having investigations and having an investigative sense of going beyond what the evidence court is and to what the significance is of what they're learning and to have the imagination and the broader picture which is necessary for intelligence work. and i think they've made a start at this. one evidence of that is the fact that they've already started. and i say that advisedly in raising the importance of analysts who are not fbi agents. and there's still a long ways to go, i think, in changing the culture where agents did the hard work and support people did alesser -- a lesser magnitude of
work. we realize intelligence analysts in many ways are as important as agents in getting the big picture of intelligence. and so, but the fact is that structurally they're changing the role of intelligence analysts, they're certainly changing the number. it's a much higher percentage of the force than ever before. so i think that that is something in which certainly director comey is very interested in following personally. and the way in which he has interacted with the structural changes, organizational changes in the fbi, the creation of the national security bureau at the highest level, the attention given to the counterterrorism division, to the directorate of intelligence, i think these are all signs that there is a commitment at the level of the director and below that. >> yes, sir. >> but any change this culture always is going to talk time.
>> always difficult. >> bruce, you want to -- >> well, we're still at very early days. we've only started briefing in the past few weeks from the fbi that i have to say, personally, i've been extremely impressed by the intelligence analysts who have participated in those briefings who really, i think, are outstanding individuals, some of the best in the entire intelligence community. now, whether there are issues such as you described about acculturallization and investigation which we're going to find in our investigation, i can't say. thus far, some of the people have been extraordinarily impressive. to go to your question, too, about sort of the fbi as an intelligence versus a security service, you know, one of the problems in the united kingdom with mi5 is that not all the surveillance they do is necessarily admissible in court. that's very different from the fbi. >> right. that's what i was driving at. exactly what i was driving at. >> the other thing in the united kingdom is, first, there's only
52 or 50-plus constabularies whereas there's 18,000 jurisdictions here, so it's apples and oranges, but many of those constabularies have special branch which is to say like an intelligence division. that's one of the challenges in the united states. nypd, of course, as we heard earlier, director comey's discussion has an excellent intelligence unit. los angeles, for instance, certainly has an excellent intelligence unit, but not every police department in this country has an intelligence unit, and that's often who mi5 works very close by with, the special branch. so you can see why the transition to an intelligence agency probably wouldn't have suited the united states even if it was desirable. and this that respect i think where we're really looking very hard is at the integration of the intelligence analysts, the people who aren't special agents, what their place in the fbi is. director comey has certainly made a firm commitment to insuring they have an active role. >> it's a with regard new mugs.
>> i would say, congressman, to your point a few follow ups. one, now that the fbi has been asked to create this national security bureau and we have already been briefed, we've probably had a half dozen to a dozen different briefings by very, very talented and exceptional people, are they the exception to the rule, or is this national security bureau being pushed down from mr. muller and mr. comey and there are career paths for people, successful career paths on the analytical side. that will be something that we're going to be looking at very carefully. secondly, one of the metrics that we'll probably be analyzing and evaluating is we often hear from the fbi special agents they will look at clues, and they will look at cases and try to determine is there a prosecution in this case. can we put somebody in jail as a result of this case.
the analysts are asking an entirely different question. the analysts should be asking questions, is this, to mr. chairman's point, is this person in the process of radicalizing? are they radicalizing others? are they trying to radicalize through the internet? how do we follow them? what degeneration intelligent do we gather for broader strategic strategy to understand what's going on and gather against even more people to understand the threat abroad or in the united states? so i think that's going to be very important. thirdly, you've mentioned a couple cases this morning, and i think ed and bruce and i will be looking at these cases, the saz si case in new york, the subway bombing, the fort hood case with hasan. how did the jttfs that generally work well together and share information, did they work well in all these cases? preliminarily, we see they may have worked well together in the zazi case but not worked as
closely together and shared information in the fort be hood case. why is that? how do we try to insure better, consistent efforts between the jttf bes? so these are some of the things we'll be looking at, and we'll probably be looking at these on some key case-by-case methodologies. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i have a follow be up if i could afterwards when you finish with, particularly with general meese to talk about the privacy rights of individual americans after you've finished with yours, sir, thank you. >> okay. i just have a few last -- are you going to meet with director mueller and associate director joyce? >> we will, yes. >> okay. i think that's a good idea. one of the key elements to look at the threat of domestic radicalization, according to congressional research service there have been 74 home-grown jihadist plots in the u.s. since 9/11, and 53 have occurred in
the last five years alone including fort hood, times square and the be boston marathon -- boston marathon. how will the commission be studying this threat, and do you have any thoughts on comments on this trend? that's the first question. well, why don't you just -- and i'll come to the second. do you have any thoughts? >> [inaudible conversations] >> well, i mean, this goes back to my point about other threats so rapidly evolving and changing. you know, i think, you know, common sense dictates that that may just be the tip to have iceberg given what's going on in syria and your excellent work, i think, in focusing attention on americans going to syria. i mean, this has become be, i think, an enormous issue. it's a much bigger rallying cry than even afghanistan was in the 1980s. it's not geographically as distant as afghanistan is, it's much easier to get to syria. you actually can fly into nato allies and just cross europe to get there. syria is in the hart of the
middle easts and of the arab world. it's viewed by al-qaeda and other groups as sacred islamic territory. and what i think so consequential is it's in syria we're seeing this transition from top-down-driven propaganda -- web sites, inspire magazines -- being now matched by social media; twitter accounts, facebook, what's up. something i've never heard of, but my kids used is very common. and this is being used to radicalize and recruit, and i think it has an enormously worrisome potential because now you've got much like anwral anwe lackly, he was so effective because he could communicate with people in their vernacular. could communicate very effectively in english using all the slang, and that's what we're seeing from, at least thus far, british jihadis who have gone off to syria who are using -- i mean, i follow them on twitter.
probably following me as well. [laughter] you see on a daily basis with guys with literally thousands of followers. it's typical to have anywhere between 1-4,000 followers. they're posting photographs of morning physical training, photographs of one another eating together, of praying together, and they're directing messages to others in the western world saying, come on, you know? it's easy. here's how we got here, this is what you can find, here's what our lives are like. you can see they're good, we're making the sacrifice, you're staying behind and not participating. and on an individual level we're going to see, i think, an explosion in this radicalization and recruitment. and that's exactly one of the things we're looking looking atn working with the fbi, engaging with them this discussions. what about the next thing over the horizon which is the social media which they're gearing up to respond to, and we hope to be able to assist this that. >> this is an excellent question as well.
bruce, i think covered in his testimony how interesting people like al-awlaki are. here's somebody that was somehow meeting with some of the terrorists back in 9/11. we're not still sure exactly what role he played and whether he was a co-conspirator, whether he was just meeting on the margins. he then ends up getting in jihadi practices and going to teach that over in the united kingdom. he comes back to that, i believe he goes back over to yemen then and starts radical using people on the internet finish radicalizing people on the internet in chat rooms. four of the five successful post-9/11 attacks taken on by lone wolves are inspired bilal awlaki. he dies by a drone take and then still inspires attacks from the
graves. the interest withing question is not only understanding how he is able to radicalize people, but what is the fbi doing to understand that threat? who are they hiring? are they getting access to the best and the brightest to bring in people who can anticipate where al-qaeda and terrorist groups go with these kinds of technologies in the future? as mr. comey said in his testimony a couple hours ago, you know, are they able to have the resources from congress to train people and educate people to this threat? are they bringing in people from mit? i think, mr. chairman, you talked about darpa and mit and getting the west minds together in the united states to understand where these people are coming from. i remember on the 9/11 commission tom clancy had written a novel -- >> we're going to leave this program at this point, you can see it in its entirety if you go
to c-span.org. right now live to the white house for today's briefing. here's spokesman jay carney. [inaudible conversations] >> i was a little stressed out. i have to say. you know, it's amazing when the season starts, you're like -- all your biorhythms change, you know? but what a wonderful thing for red sox fans here at the white house today, and i hope for the red sox themselves. i know the president enjoyed the event, and those of us who attended sure did enjoy it. so hats off to the boston red sox, world champions. let me toss this to my trusty companion. finish it's a good day for another reason. i've been at the white house from the very beginning and have seen people say that meaningful health care reform could not with done more times than i can count. from before the law passed when such a transformation of the health care system was thought to be politically impossible to
the day that it reached the supreme court, throughout an election year when it was the principal subject of debate and from october when critics said web site could not recover, much less reach independent experts' predictions on how many people would sign up. even those independent experts lowered their estimates. but with the remarkable surge in enrollment, 7,041,000 people signed up for health insurance before the midnight deadline yesterday. and that doesn't count the last day surge if sign-ups in more than a dozen states that run their own marketplaces. we surpassed the seven million mark with the over 200,000 people who enrolled yesterday in states run by the federal government alone. when we get numbers in from the
rest of the states and people who were trying to sign up by the deadline and are finishing now, even more people will be covered. but what makes the law a success is not just that hard working families will have good, affordable coverage that will be there when they need it and does what it is supposed to do, it's that millions more will have coverage through the medicaid expansion, the discrimination against pre-existing conditions is a thing of the past. that women will no longer be discriminated against in health coverage and that entrepreneurs and the self-employed will finally have good, attainable coverage for themselves and their families. and since the law passed, the growth in health care costs has slowed to its lowest level on record. now, i could go on, and i have a feeling i will. [laughter] but i hope the fact that this seven billion number has been reached allows us all to step back and look at the sweeping, positive change that the law has
ushered in to strengthen health security for every american as they go through life. republicans have spent millions on false, negative ads, they've blocked medicaid expansion in dozens of states, they've shut down the government and voted over 50 times to repeal the affordable care act. but that effort could not stop this law from working, and it could not stop middle class families from getting the health care security that they deserve. amazingly, just this week the speaker recommitted republicans to their strategy of repeeling the law. i hope you'll ask the speaker this: how will that effort to repeal the law insure that americans have access to the same quality health care that members of congress have? i'd love to hear the answer. never. >> jay, do you have any sort of breakdown on how many of those
7,041,000 were previously uninsured or any demographics? >> we have none of the breakdown data at this point. the experts over as cms and hhs will be working on that, both demographics and the issue of the percentage that paid. but on both issues let's step back for a moment. when you buy health insurance from a private provider, you enter into a contract. and long before the affordable care act was even contemplated and certainly before it became law, a lot of people bought health insurance, and the overwhelming majority of them paid for their health insurance on time. there will be nothing different about this. there is nothing different about the kind of contract that you have with a private insurer through the marketplaces than
existed this the past save for the minimum level of benefits that are required by the affordable care act, save for all the protections that affordable care act puts into place. but we expect it and issuers have anecdotally suggested that they are seeing this. folks who get health insurance through the marketplaces will pay their premiums in the manner that they have in the past. so there's that. on the issue of demographics, again, i point you to what the insurers themselves have said. and the statements that they have made about the increase in the enrollment of young adults as we've come closer to the deadline, as we approached the deadline. that was something fully anticipated. and statements that issuers have made that they feel good about the breakdown, the demographic breakdown that they're seeing
already. there has been the red herring put forward many times about the so-called 40% figure which is simply the percentage of the uninsured who are young adults. it is not the percentage that is required to make the market places work. that percentage has already been cleared. what we will see when the demographic breakdown comes in, we suspect based on what we've seen from different states and anecdotally, is that there was a surge in enrollment among young adults. but we already know that that a breakdown is sufficient to insure that the marketplaces will effectively function, that issuers will feel comfortable with the demographics. ask as you also know and as i mentioned yesterday, there are provisions within the law itself that insure that the kind of spike in premiums that people might be concerned about, the
fluctuations in prices because of the break, you know, the demographic breakdown of the risk fool are contained. -- pool are contained should today come about. so as was the case this medicare part d, by the way. so we'll see, obviously, what those percentages are. we'll see what the breakdown is. but today we can say defin thetively that -- definitive hi that at midnight last night, i think it's fair to say we surpassed everyone's expectations, at least everyone in this room. and there's a reason for that. there are two reasons. one, the extraordinarily dedicated service of a lot of folks who worked hard on the effort to get the web site functioning effectively, and that includes people in this building beginning with the president, the chief of staff and others, it includes folks at
cms, it includes the efforts that everybody engaged in to, beginning in january really, to conduct outreach to those populations in america who needed the information about the affordable care act. and we got pretty creative in how we reached out to young americans and others, different communities to make sure they got the information today needed. but most of all, it's because the american people -- despite everything they'd heard, despite all the negative advertising, despite the obstacles that we put in their way with the crummy rollout of healthcare.gov -- head it clear that they wanted this product. and that's important be because whole purpose of the law was to provide security for the
benefits contained within the plans on offer all around the country. >> obviously, the early problems with enrollment hurt some democrats. are you advising them now that you've reached this milestone to embrace -- what are you telling them? >> i'm not here to give political advice. i'm saying that despite the obstacles we saw, despite the lowered expectations that experts and others created, something important happened here which is that systems we put in place worked, the demand for the product was there, and most importantly, millions of americans and their families are getting health care coverage. for those who voted to support that bill, that's something they shouldproud of. it's something they can tell their constituents that they did for them. and they paid, you know, they took a lot of political heat in some cases and at some times over the past several years
because of it. but they did the right thing. you know, how every candidate runs his or her race is, obviously, up to each individual. but what matters here is the policy, the law, the benefits that the american people and american families have, the security of knowing that if you have a pre-existing condition or your child has asthma or any other condition that before the affordable care act might have been the reason insurers wouldn't give you coverage, that that can never happen again. and that is, that creates an enormous amount of comfort and security for american families across the country. and that is a good thing. and this is just the first enrollment period. >> i know -- >> there are going to be many more for years to come. >> [inaudible] yesterday u.s. officials have confirmed that there are talks underway to possibly -- [inaudible] can you explain why president obama would consider that after decades of other presidents have declined under pressure from the
israeli government? >> well, i'd say a couple of things. first of all, the president has not released a decision to -- made a decision to release jonathan pollard. he is serving his sentence. i don't have any update on mr. pollard's status. there are, obviously, a lot of things happening in that arena, and, you know, i'm not going to get ahead of discussions that are underway. what i will tell you is that the president has not made a decisioning to release jonathan pollard. mark. >> thanks, jay. you mentioned insurers. there's some concern among insurers of prediction of higher premiums. i heard what you said about the premium, but if that was to happen, what is to prevent insurers from becoming villains in this story if, in fact, the popularity of the law takes a hit as a result of premiums rising? >> look, here's what we know: premiums came the lower than expected, lower than projected
for this year. there is a process in place state by state involving state insurance commissioners, involving issuers and then, ultimately, involving the federal government as it relates to the aca. that will produce premiums for the next year. later this year. what those premiums look like will depend on assessments that are made by issuers on the mucks that they got in this -- the mix that they got in this first year under affordable care act. a lot of actuarial work will be done to make those assessments. what we know, again, is that this year's premiums came in lower than projected. what we know is that in the force be years since the affordable care act was passed and signed into law, the in health care costs has been slower than at any time in the past half century, any time since these records have been kept. and what we know is if the law